Small business Instagram growth

Starting out on Instagram? Here's 8 tips to Instagram success for small business

by Amy Chandler June 24, 2017

Before we start, let’s briefly discuss why you need to grow your audience. There are a lot of advantages that growing your followers can bring. If you’re a business, the obvious advantage is a loyal audience you can convert to loyal customers. But it’s also about recognition and visibility – the more followers you have, the more irresistible your brand appears to potential customers.

This begs the question; how do you make your profile irresistible?

We’re going to take you through our step-by-step process which we’ve deployed to help lots of brands launch their Instagram and grow their account.

Competitor analysis
Before you’ve published your first post, you need to analyse your competitors. Then you can make use of your findings when creating your own profile and content strategy.

Ask yourself these questions when analyzing your competitors:

  • What type of content are they posting?
  • How many followers do they have?
  • How many people are they following?
  • Who has the most followers of all your competitors?
  • What hashtags are they using?
  • What type of posts are delivering high engagement in your niche?
  • Who has the most successful Instagram profile in your niche?
  • Why are they posting and how often?
Exploring what type of posts get more engagement in your niche is very important. When you see a successful post, ask yourself why was it so successful? These are crucial learnings for you as you start to grow your Instagram and produce content.

Design and set up  
Let’s be frank for a minute: if your profile is not attractive, no one will want to follow you. Set yourself up for success and design a visually attractive profile.

Your photo, your name and your biography are your digital billboard. To edit this information, tap on the profile icon at the bottom right corner. Then select ‘edit profile’ at the top of the page. This information should be unique and distinct. Include a brief description about you or your brand. Try and make this description as attention-grabbing as possible. Use a few emojis to represent your brand.

Don’t forget to include a URL in your bio. Include your website URL if you have one or include a link to your Facebook page if you’re starting out.

Pro tip: This URL is the only clickable link that you’ll be able to provide on Instagram and will become very important if you are sending traffic to your bio to purchase, subscribe or download.

Plan and create some content  
This is a very important ingredient to your success and a point that a lot of people miss. You need to publish content that grabs the attention of your target audience and makes them want to engage with you. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and ask yourself, ‘would I click on this content?’

Pro tip: Test your draft content on your friends, family and colleagues – would they engage with your post?

Caption is king
These days a high quality image is not enough. Once you’ve created a graphic or identified an image you’d like to post, you need to write a caption that supports the image. Write your captions in a way that makes people want to read it. This is one of the most overlooked tactics in sharing photos. Let your enthusiasm translate onto the page!

Pro tip: Instagram will show only three lines of your caption in user’s feeds so you’ve got to grab attention in the first three lines.

Add a location
When you add a location to your photo, you’ll get more visibility. Why? Because your photo ‘lives’ in that location in a digital sense. Anytime anyone searches for photos taken within an area, they will see your photo.

Pro tip: Choose a popular location, so your post will be more visible and attract more attention.

Find the right hashtags for you
The reality is, if you’re not using the right hashtags for your business, you won’t grow your audience. But which hashtags should you use? Start by typing a general hashtag in the search bar that relates to your business. When you do this Instagram will show you a list of similar popular hashtags. You should use as many of these hashtags as possible. Save your hashtags in your notes on the phone so that you don’t have to type them out each time.

Pro tip: Always post your hashtags in the comments, rather than in your caption.

Post regularly – don’t be a wall flower
The most popular Instagrammers post A LOT of content. That’s because there is a direct correlation between how often your profile posts and how many followers you have.

Pro tip:  We recommend posting 1-3 times per day and at least a couple of Instagram stories per day.

Become an engagement machine 
It doesn’t matter how many followers you’ve got. If no one is responding to your posts, Instagram’s algorithm will penalise you. You need to show the algorithm that people are liking and commenting on your content so that Instagram puts your posts into more newsfeeds and in front of more eyeballs.  Instagram lets you engage in a few ways: liking posts, following people, commenting on posts and sending direct messages.

Pro tip: How many posts should you like or comment on? As many as you can!

Amy Chandler
Amy Chandler


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